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Susan_Steve_HansonIn the following interview, Susan Hanson, Steven Hanson and Joe Balestriere of the Hanson Realty Group with William Raveis Exceptional Properties in Fairfield County, Conn., discuss the dynamics of their group, operating a team, and more.

Years in Real Estate: 15
Region Served: Lower Fairfield County, Conn.
Average Market Time: The average for Q1 2017 was 83.62 days. Our goal is to have our listed houses sale pending within 30 days.
Number of Team Members: 5

Do you divide tasks based on individual roles (e.g., listing agent, buyer agent, etc.)?
Susan Hanson:
No, we don’t actually do that. We’re pretty much our own selves. We support each other, ask opinions and maybe tag along on certain presentations because we think another person has a stronger skillset for that seller or buyer. It really does make a difference. Not only do we complement each other, but we back one another up all the time.

What marketing method do you find most effective?
Joe Balestriere:
Facebook and social media are huge.

Susan Hanson: We recently changed our eye doctor because ours retired. The first time we went into her office she said, “You two look really familiar.” When we went back for a follow-up, she said, “I know where I’ve seen you—Facebook—your ads are paying off.”

How does being on a team differ from being a solo agent?
Susan Hanson:
I personally think it’s huge. It’s a sounding board. Joe will come up and tell me he’s having a challenging transaction, and I’ll tell him it’s something we’ve seen and dealt with before. We then brainstorm together to come up with the best solution. Every transaction is different.

Joe Balestriere: Sometimes you’re in a sea of transactions alone, and having someone to help you as a solo agent isn’t easy. Even today, seven years later, I’m still seeing things I’ve never seen before.

What are you most proud of about your team?
Susan Hanson:
I think we go way above and beyond most real estate agents. I think listening to and understanding the client is very important. We’re very honest and we don’t sugarcoat. We’re very quick to react, and we follow up on showings and open houses for feedback. We also watch the market indicators if a price adjustment is needed.

Steve Hanson: Our team has all aspects covered. Combined, we’re a very strong team, and we have experience in all aspects of real estate. The bottom line is we’re honest and we treat people the way we’d want to be treated. We don’t try to pressure them, and we don’t try to tell them things they’d rather hear instead of the reality.

Joe Balestriere: Our willingness to take the time to do things other real estate professionals don’t do. This even includes hosting a tag sale for your client because they might not be able to do it themselves, or making sure you mitigate certain risks like going into the city and doing a municipal search. Susan taught me the importance of doing as much as you can before the transaction starts instead of trying to catch up later, and I think that’s important.

How do you measure success as a team?
Susan Hanson:
Although we do like the numbers, measuring success is about reward, and that means personal reward, not dollar value. We have repeat business because our clients know that we care, and they know that we’ll work 110 percent on their behalf. We currently have a listing in Rowayton, and it’s the client’s third transaction with us. Joe is already seeing repeat business, which tells you that our clients like to work with us.

Joe Balestriere: We’ve consistently been one of the Top 5 teams in Norwalk since 2006. It’s nice when a client comes back and says they want to work with us again, or they have a friend they’d like us to work with.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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